Music 

Changes The World

 

"There's nothing you can do that can't be done. Nothing you can sing that can't be sung. Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game. It's easy. Nothing you can make that can't be made. No one you can save that can't be saved. Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time. It's easy. All you need is love. All you need is love. All you need is love, love. Love is all you need."

-The Beatles

 

From the beginning of recorded history music in some form or another has told the story of life and it's beauty, wonder, struggles, and causes.

From the love between the man and a woman to the oppression of people- music and song have supplied  the soundtrack to life. 

Music questions authority and the status quo that often is misdirected, misinformed and in some cases just plain wrong.

In modern times because of the advancement in telecommunications music took on an even more important place in the world. In other words the volume could be cranked up globally.

During the 1950's, the average age of music record buyers decreased from the early 20s into the teens. During the first half of the decade "mood" music was popular. Liberace, Mitch Miller, Harry Belefonte and others sold many records.  

A new sound became extremely popular in the 1950's. Allen Freed coined the term "Rock and Roll" to describe the new wild sound . Teenagers turned some of these rock and rollers into overnight celebrities. Names like Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry, The Platters, Fabian and Frankie Avalon were just some of the many.

Dick Clark

American Bandstand was a television show that aired  from 1952 to 1989, hosted until its final season by Dick Clark( America's Oldest Teenager") , who also served as producer. It originally started in Philadelphia. American Bandstand first aired on the ABC network on Monday, 5 August 1957, becoming one of a handful of local origination programs to broadcast nationally. Initially, the program ran Monday through Friday from 3:00 to 4:30 P.M., EST. The program was broadcast daily until 1963. 

American Bandstand brought rock 'n' roll music into millions of households. It showed Americans how to do the latest dance steps and introduced performers to the country. 

When Dick Clark started hosting  Bandstand in 1956, he insisted on racially integrating the show, thus providing American television broadcasting with its most visible ongoing image of ethnic diversity.

American Bandstand Rate-a-Record

Clark would often interview the teenagers about their opinions of the songs being played, most memorably through the "Rate-a-Record" segment (to which the phrase "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it" is credited)

 

Stax Records is an American record label, originally based out of Memphis, Tennessee. The label was founded in 1957 by Jim Stewart as Satellite Records. In 1961, upon realizing that there was another record company named Satellite, the label changed its name to "Stax," a portmanteau of the names of the two original owners of the company: Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton. Stax was a major factor in the creation of the Southern soul and Memphis soul music styles, and frequently released early funk and 1960s Chicago blues recordings. While Stax was involved almost exclusively in the production of African-American music, the label is noted for having several popular ethnically-integrated bands.

In 1960, Elvis returned to the music scene from the US Army, joining the other white male vocalists at the top of the charts; Bobby Darin, Neil Sedaka, Jerry Lee Lewis, Paul Anka, Del Shannon and Frankie Avalon. America, however, was ready for a change. 

Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music as the first record label owned by an African American and primarily featuring African American artists to regularly achieve crossover success and have a widespread, lasting effect on the music industry and society in general. Incorporated on January 12, 1959 by Berry Gordy, Jr. as Tamla Records, Motown has, over the course of its history, owned or distributed releases from more than 45 subsidiaries in varying genres, although it is most famous for its releases in the musical genres of R&B, pop, and soul music.

The Tamla Motown Record Company came on the scene, specializing in black rhythm and blues, aided in the emergence of female groups such as Gladys Knight and the Pips, Martha and the Vandellas, the Supremes, and Aretha Franklin, as well as  Smoky Robinson, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and the Temptations. 

Bob Dylan helped bring about a folk music revival, along with Joan Baez and Peter, Paul & Mary. The Beach Boys began recording music that appealed to"California Dreamers". 

The Beatles Early 1960's

 

 

 

The Beatles, from England, burst into popularity with innovative rock music that appealed to all ages. The Beatles were the first of many groups to come to The United States during "The British Invasion".

 Peter and Gordon ("A World Without Love"), the Animals ("House of the Rising Sun"), Manfred Mann ("Do Wah Diddy Diddy"), Petula Clark ("Downtown"), Freddie and the Dreamers ("I'm Telling You Now"), Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders ("Game of Love"), Herman's Hermits ("Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter"), the Rolling Stones ("I Can't Get No Satisfaction" and others), the Troggs ("Wild Thing"), and Donovan's ("Sunshine Superman") all topped Billboard's singles chart.

There was a major change in popular music in the mid-1960's, caused in part by the drug scene. Acid Rock, highly amplified and improvisational, and the more mellow psychedelic rock gained prominence. 

When the Beatles turned to acid rock, their audience narrowed to the young. Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead grew out of the counterculture in 1967.

The musical phenomena of the decade was Woodstock, a three day music festival that drew 400,000 people and featured peace, love, and happiness...and LSD. 

By the end of the decade, popular music was also using synthesizers and other electronic devices.

The Beatles Late 1960's

By the 1970's, the term "rock & roll" had become nearly meaningless. This decade saw the breakup of the Beatles and the death of Elvis Presley. Pop music splintered into a multitude of styles: soft-rock, hard rock, country rock, folk rock, punk rock, shock rock .R&B, Funk and Disco were also popular during the decade.

Soul Train began airing in selected cities across the United States, on a weekly basis, on October 2, 1971.During the heyday of Soul Train in the 1970s and 1980s, the program was widely influential among younger black Americans, many of whom turned to it not only to hear the latest songs by well-known black artists but also for clues about the latest fashions and dance trends. Moreover, for many white Americans in that era who were not living in areas that were racially diverse, Soul Train provided a unique window into black culture. 

Don Cornelius, creator, executive producer and the host introduced the world to "The Soul Train Dancers" and the "Soul Train Scramble Board", where two dancers are given sixty seconds to unscramble a set of letters which form the name of that show's performer or a famous person in African American history. Near the program's conclusion, there is also the popular "Soul Train Line", in which all the dancers form a two lines with space in the middle for individual dancers to strut down and dance in consecutively. Sometimes, new dance styles or moves are featured or introduced by particular dancers.

In The 1980's Cable was born and MTV, originally intended to be promos for albums, had an enormous impact on music and young people. The digital compact disc (cd) revolutionized the music industry. Dances learned on MTV included slam dancing, lambada, and break dancing. 

Pop, rock, new wave, punk, country, and especially rap or hip hop became popular in the 80s. Rap was new in the late 80s and 90s. 

1980s Music Video Mash Remix

In The 1990's there were more music choices available than ever, although radio stations tended to find a niche and stick to it rather than playing a mix. Latino music grew in popularity. Country became more mainstream, and Grunge and Gangsta Rap appeared. R&B and hip-hop remained popular.

1980s Music Video Mash Remix Part 2

The recording industry faced severe tribulation as CD burners became commonplace. It was easy to make a high quality copy of a CD. 

Napster, Morpheus and Kazaa offered online file sharing, in effect offering free downloads of music to anyone wanting to copy it. The recording industry, seeing falling sales, fought back with lawsuits.

 

Bob Marley

 Bob Marley's songs of resolution, rebellion and justice finding audiences the world over. As Robert Palmer wrote in a tribute to Marley upon his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, "No one in rock and roll has left a musical legacy that matters more or one that matters in such fundamental ways.

"He was particularly moved throughout his career by the gulf between haves and have-nots, a culture of oppression that was particularly glaring in his poverty- and crime-ridden Jamaican homeland. "We should all come together and creative music and love, but [there] is too much poverty," Marley told writer Timothy White in 1976. "The most intelligent people [are] the poorest people...[but] people don't get no time to feel and spend [their] intelligence...The intelligent and innocent are poor, are crumbled and get brutalized. Daily."

 

 

In 1990 Rock the Vote was founded by members of the recording industry in response to a wave of attacks on freedom of speech and artistic expression. Rock the Vote expanded its focus to the political empowerment of young Americans.

In 1998 Rock the Vote expanded both its focus and organization and rewrites its mission statement accordingly, dedicating itself to protecting freedom of expression, and helping young people realize and utilize their power to affect change in the civic and political lives of their communities.

Rock the Vote and MTV have joined to register thousands of people to vote.

 

MTV Global Discussion

On February 14,2002 MTV hosted an international Global Discussion with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. 

Young people from around the world from the US, India, the Middle East, Italy, UK/Ireland, Brazil and Russia  asked questions regarding world issues and events affecting us all today. For the full transcript click the link below-

 

 

 

Citizen Change is a national, non-partisan and non-profit organization created to educate, motivate, and empower the more than 42 million Americans aged 18 to 30 that are eligible to vote  --also known as the "forgotten ones."

 Founded by businessman, entertainer, actor, producer and designer Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Citizen Change has one mission: to make voting relevant to a generation that hasn't reached full participation in the political process.

The Black Eyed Peas

 

The Black Eyed Peas' vision is that of a socially conscious Hip Hop Group. 

In one of their top hits they put across  the simple statement-

      "if you only got love for your own ways then you only leave space to discriminate and to discriminate only generates hate and when you hate, then you're bound to get irate madness is what you demonstrate".  They pose the question- Where is the love?

 

 

 

Green Day sings of the choices young people must make on their album "American Idiot"-

"I'm not a part of a redneck agenda. Now everybody do the propaganda. And sing along in the age of paranoia. Welcome to a new kind of tension. All across the alienation. Everything isn't meant to be okay. Television dreams of tomorrow. We're not the ones who're meant to follow. For that's enough to argue. Don't wanna be an American idiot. One nation controlled by the media. Information age of hysteria. It's calling out to idiot America."

Green day is trying to make the point that you must think for yourself and not be influenced by other forces other than your own moral compass.

 

Pearl Jam, Merle Haggard, Neil Young, the Dixie Chicks, Pink and the Rolling Stones all have released songs protesting the war in Iraq and the Bush  administration in Washington.

 

How we listen to music changes as time goes by but the relevance of music remains a constant.

 

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